Book Review: Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

Posted April 28, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey
Series: , Rhi & Dionne, Perran and Levron, Lena and Her Animal MindSpeech, Firesong, ,
Genres: Fantasy
Published by DAW Books on December 6, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: the library

Also by this author: Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Closer to Home, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, A Scandal in Battersea, The Hills Have Spies, The Bartered Brides, Dragon's Teeth, Eye Spy, Breaking Silence, Pathways, The Case of the Spellbound Child, Jolene, Passages, Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, The Serpent's Shadow, The Oathbound, The White Gryphon, The Silver Gryphon, Beyond

An anthology of twenty-two short stories in a mixed bag of quality in this tenth in the Tales of Valdemar subseries as part of the Valdemar series.


“A Small Quarrel” (Wil & Leila, ??)
“Haver Hearthstone” (Dann Family of Haven, 6)
“The Apprentice and the Stable Master” (Rhi & Dionne)
“Unexpected Meeting” (Perran and Levron)
“A Trip of Goats” (Lena’s Animal MindSpeech, 2)
“Ripples and Cracks” (Owl Mage)

The Stories

Stephanie Shaver’s “A Small Quarrel”…

…finds Herald Amelie having made good her escape from the town of Highjorune while Herald Wil and his daughter are on the road, bringing in traitorous bards, solving a murder, and unveiling imposters.

There’s a flashback in here to Leila’s “announcing” her pregnancy on that battlefield. It’s an okay story. It does lead to Wil teaching young Ivy to defend herself.

The Characters

Herald Wil has Visions of the future and the past. Ivy is his four-year-old daughter. Vehs is Herald Wil’s Companion; Aubryn allows Ivy to ride him. Both Companions babysit the girl.

Sergeant Bergen is one of the guards. Ferrin is the worst of the traitorous bards working with the Dark Lord. Madra is another who enjoys assassinating. Back in the day, she was known as Androa Baireschild, the sister of Healer Grier and Herald Kemoc Baireschild. Carris was a Bard removed for misuse of her gift.

Janny Wurts’ “Girl Without the Gifts”…

…revolves around a young blind girl who only wants to prove herself when she finds the injured Companion, Lark. Tarron had been his Herald.

It was okay.

Elizabeth A. Vaughan’s “Unimagined Consequences”…

…finds a lady desperate to provide jobs for her people and willing to bargain for the opportunity. It’s an interesting story with several people helped, although the lady still has her personal problems.

Jennifer Brozek’s “Feathers in Flight”…

…finds us following Hadara, a gryphon, and Kitha, a newly changed Shin’a’in Change-Child, on an adventurous journey to find acceptance. This was confusing and seemed to change the reasoning every few pages.

Ron Collins’ “Blind Leaps”…

…is what Nwah, a kyree, must make up her mind about, for her friend, Kade, wants to leave the Pelagiris Forest, and she’s frightened of change. I’m not sure what going into heat has to do with her decision.

Fiona Patton’s “Haver Hearthstone”…

…is an absolute crack-up. I do love Patton’s Dann short stories. This one is simply another pip, especially when a visiting watch captain insists that this fraud of a merchant be locked up. Oh, man, ROFLMAO. Haver has no problem sitting in a cell…he can do business there just as well as in the marketplace. Especially when the entire neighborhood comes to buy.

The Characters

Sergeant Hektor Dann and his older brother, Corporal Aiden Dann, are with the Haven City Watch. Constables Jakon and Raik are younger brothers; Padreic is the youngest brother and works the Watch as a runner. Kasiath is their sister with a Gift with birds; she’s apprenticed to the Watchhouse Bird Master. Peachwing is one of her birds. Thomar was their granther.

The City Watch
Jons is the night sergeant. Willan Elbert is a captain from the Lower Devin District (who might be moving to their district) and a friend of their Captain Tortell and Daedrus. Nessa is the Watchhouse cook. Corporal Thacker.

Daedrus is an Artificer whom Hektor helped in Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar: “Haven’s Own”. Adele is Daedrus’ niece. Lord Markus Indram is a friend of Daedrus’.

Haver Hearthstone is a traveling merchant. He has a number of aliases: Desmon Hearthstead, Brian Hearthease. Toby is his donkey. Fair Master Smith Linton holds a spot for him at the market every year. Bryce Linton is his cousin. Other customers include Mister Crendal, Mister Beecher, Camer Pond, and Paddy.

Holly Poll is annoyed by the enthusiastic lovemaking by Deem and Kiera. Jez is Holly’s husband. Benj Granstil is a local iron merchant; Ruby is his wife. Miss Peggi and Miss Sally have new beaus. That ought’a pay back Ken and his friend. Bill and Sue March are herbalists.

Dayle A. Dermatis’ “Unraveling the Truth”…

…finds Herald Syrriah pulling on all her years as a former lady of the manor to settle a dispute between two greedy family members who want the poor land (that’s improved so much) that another distant family member owns.

I did love the back history Syrriah dived into and the answers she found that showed the jerks up, but it did seem pretty cut-and-dried to me from the start.

Michele Lang’s “Sparrow’s Gift”…

…tells of Sparrow’s loneliness with her and Cloud Brother’s new baby. Abilard is Cloud Brother’s Companion. There’s a magical attack on Sparrow, and it makes no sense. Oh, it’s homey, but only makes me think huh, what?

Rosemary Edghill and Rebecca Fox’s “Harmless as Serpents”…

…is all about a young Companion overcome with how amazing he is, lol, and his encounters with Brother Junchan who is charged with finding rogue Vkandis priests. This particular one is in dread danger, and Kenisant learns a lesson.

Brenda Cooper’s “The Apprentice and the Stable Master”…

…is about a cruel lord and how he treats his people, including Healers who should be respected. It’s a good story, but it could have been better written.

The Characters

Marala is the daughter of Healer Kris, who is being trained as a Healer.

Lord Daving is the new lord and a cruel, unthinking, demanding little shit. Norsk is the Stablemaster. Kathlyn, a friend of Marala’s; Linal; and, Beatrice are servants.

Healer Dionne and Bard Rhiannon finagled an invite.

Nancy Asire’s “Unexpected Meeting”…

…finds a thief being fined, and he’s upset at how it will ruin him. Cry me a river, dude. A good one.

Elisabeth Waters’ “A Trip of Goats”…

…is cute and notes that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

The Characters

Lena, a.k.a., Lady Magdalena Lindholm, has Animal MindSpeech and is a novice at the Temple of Thenoth.

The Temple of Thenoth worships…
…the Lord of the Beasts. Sven-August and Maia (has MindSpeech) are novices. Lady Efanya is Sven-August’s mother. The Prior is compassionate.

Guildmaster Jurgen is quite understanding, lol. Lord and Lady Melander are quite disapproving of their son’s craziness. Arvid is their son and has a gift of MindSpeech.

Louisa Swann’s “The Ones She Couldn’t Save”…

…finds Rian discovering that the role she’s been playing all her life is backfiring. No one will listen to her now when the village is in danger, and it’s too dangerous with the cleansing fires looming for her to go back.

Brigid Collins’ “One Last Night Manning the Home Station”…

…finds Yerra hoping that the Companion is here for her. That he appreciates how she’s kept that WayStation up. Especially now that Marli has stolen the boy she loved.

As uncomfortable as it was to read, it was an excellent story with a life lesson learned.

D. Shull’s “Only Family Matters”…

…is a battle over who will be the new Dean of the Healer’s Collegium and how it affects one man, known for his neutrality. The lengths to which he’ll go and find a true home. Family is what you make it. Nice.

Jessica Schlenker and Michael Z. Williamson’s “Medley”…

…forces Herald Jeris to discover that playing can have consequences when he must rescue his daughter from an ugly fate. Another good one.

Angela Penrose’s “A Tangle of Truths”…

…coils about Lord Brandin’s fury, as Herald Arvil picks away at the snarl to find the true culprit in this nest of plotters. A good story with a nasty twist although a mixed bag of obviousness in the writing with that deus ex machina.

Anthea Sharp’s “The Unwanted Gift”…

…truly is unwanted, as Tereck Strand finds his preferences turned all on end. Very good.

Dylan Birtolo’s “Dawn of a New Age”…

…provides hope for a gay man and a gifted child who would otherwise face the cleansing fires of Vkandis. Another good one.

Phaedra Weldon’s “BloodLines”…

…is a tale of bigotry, vengeance, and greed. A twisty tale that was very good.

Kristin Schwengel’s “In Name Only”…

…refers, I think, to that seeming semblance of loyalty as a traitorous duo attempts to disrupt treaty negotiations while a pair of gryphons prove themselves. Another very good tale.

Larry Dixon and Mercedes Lackey’s “Ripples and Cracks”…

…is a nightmare for Kelvren who has returned from victory, almost certain death, and a miraculous healing, only to find his own ready to take him down. Yes, life isn’t fair, it just is, although I don’t know why they couldn’t have explained all this to him at the start.

This occurs shortly after the Mage Storms have started and the Change circles are feared. With reason. It’s messy and reads all over the place.

The Characters

k’Valdemar Vale is…
…a base for the Hawkbrothers and meant to be a common point for Valdemar and the Tayledras to work with and understand each other. Kelvren Skothkar is a gryphon and the Wingleader of the gryphon population that includes Kurrundas. Rukayas was appointed the new Wingleader by Redhawk. Kelvren’s friends include Darian k’Valdemar who is many things including the Owl Knight of Valdemar known as Darian Firkin, Nightwind is his trondi’irn healer, Snowfire is Nightwind’s husband, Nightbird is Nightwind’s sister, Firesong is a famous adept who always wears masks, and the human kestra’chern Silverfox.

Tyrsell is the kingstag of the dyheli. Sifyra is the dyheli Snowfire usually rides. Ayshen and his mate, Drusi, are hertasi. Kal’enal is a Velgarthian deity.

Valdemar is…
…a kingdom of peace and the primary location for Lackey’s Valdemar series. Treyvan is a gryphon Adept. Lord Breon is doing his best to do damage control.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an eye-catching black, grey, and burgundy: black in the background, grey in the fonts and Indian-style graphics in the upper border and side graphics as well as the border rim of the inset shield in the center with a roped Companion fiercely fighting against the constraints. The burgundy is in the banners for the title and the editor’s name, located at top and bottom, respectively. It’s rather odd to see an orange, flame-styled bridle on the Companion. The cover also includes two small shields: one has a blue background and a white winged horse while the bottom shield is a red gryphon posed against a black background.

The title is a storm of events, a Tempest with All-New Tales of Valdemar.

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